A Labour minister has hailed the party’s local election team in Tipperary as its “strongest ever” however a question mark now hangs over the county’s sitting MEP.
Minister for Social Protection and Labour party deputy Leader Joan Burton was in Thurles, last Friday, as candidates for all Tipperary electoral areas were chosen. She was joined by Junior Minister Alan Kelly, Senator Denis Landy and MEP Phil Prendergast.
While the Dail incumbents are not facing the electorate on this occasion it now looks like there is no guarantee MEP Prendergast will either, as she is to be challenged for the party nomination in Ireland South.
Cork based Labour Senator John Gilroy has announced his intention to seek the party’s nomination to run in Ireland South. The party have indicated they will run only one candidate in the constituency, and will hold a selection convention in the coming weeks.
Speaking from the European Parliament Phil Prendergast told The Nationalist that she is confident about what she has to offer the electorate and about the job she has been doing. “I would like to continue doing that job.”
For now she says the selection convention process is democracy and “I will certainly give it my best shot.”
Phil Prendergast was selected by the Labour Party to fill the European Parliament seat left vacant in April 2011 when Alan Kelly was elected to the Dail. She was a member of Seanad Eireann from 2007 to 2011 and before that a member of Clonmel Borough Council.
At the Anner Hotel, Thurles, four candidates were chosen to contest seats for the new all-County Council . For the Tipperary/Cashel area, retired council worker, Mick Byrnes was selected. For the Clonmel area, Labour selected previous poll-topper and sitting councillor, Sean Lonergan. For the Fethard/Carrick-on-Suir area, Cllr Michael Cleere, co-opted to the council last year will be seeking to retain the seat while running alongside him will be local Labour activist Liam Hayes.
All the political parties have now chosen their candidates. The local and European election takes place on Friday, May 23.